Rental Housing FAQ


  • What is a rental unit?
    Any room or group of rooms within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit. Rental unit also includes a lot in a manufactured home park which is rented to a person or entity to place a manufactured home on the lot, whether or not the home is owner-occupied or leased.
  • What is a rental?
    The leasing of a rental unit to a non-owner for any period of time, including "lease to buy, contract for deed, installment sales, purchases", and other similar arrangements whereby non-payment of a periodic payment means the occupants may be evicted without the necessity of either a statutory mortgage foreclosure procedure, a statutory termination of contract for deed procedure, or a statutory repossession procedure.
  • What is a dwelling?
    Any building, including a "manufactured home (mobile home)" which is intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
  • Are there any registration exemptions?
    Yes, campus dormitory and campus residence units, hospital units, nursing home units, retirement home units, or other similar units which are otherwise licensed by the state or city.
  • What do I have to do if I just purchased a rental property and want it to remain a rental property?
    • Every new owner of a rental unit (whether as fee owner or contract purchaser) must contact Neighborhood Services at 218.299.5434 and provide the new owner and manager’s name, address, and phone number before taking possession of the rental property. The property has to be inspected within thirty (30) days of the transfer of the rental property. There is a transfer fee assessed to you as determined by the City.
    • Every owner of property currently being utilized as a single-family housing unit, who is considering converting the property to a rental property, may have the property inspected prior to completing the conversion.
  • What do I do if my landlord isn’t maintaining the property?
    First, inform your landlord in writing of the problem using the Request for Repairs Form. If the problem persists after 14 days, submit a copy of the form to the City. If you have a life-safety concern such as a broken furnace, sewer back up, or electrical problems, you may contact our office at any time if you haven’t heard back from your landlord. If it’s an emergency, call 911.
  • How do I pass my initial inspection to avoid reinspection costs?
    Conduct your own preinspection before the city inspection appointment. Address any obvious issues that need repair or updating. For guidance, review the Common Code Issues Checklist, as well as the Property Maintenance Checklist.
  • How long has rental registration been required?
    The City of Moorhead has required rental registration for over 40 years.
  • Do I have to register my rental property every year?
    Yes, you will have an annual registration fee and inspection. Thirty (30) days prior to December 31 of the current calendar year, the City will mail you or the local manager the registration renewal forms for you to complete and return with payment. Renewal payment is also available online. The City will not register a rental unit unless the owner is current on property taxes, Moorhead Public Services bills, and any other obligations to the City.
  • How much is the fee to register a rental?

    See the Fee Schedule

  • What are the requirements to register rental property?
    Current on property taxes, Moorhead Public Services bills, and any other obligations to the City.
  • Why do I have to register my rental property?
    The city recognizes a need for an organized inspection program of residential rental units within the city in order to ensure that rental units meet city and state safety, health, fire, and zoning codes within the city. Rental registration also ensures decent, safe, and sanitary housing for Moorhead’s residents.
  • How do I register my rental property?
    1. Complete the Registration Application
    2. Review the Common Code Issues Checklist prior to your inspection, which will be scheduled by the City.
    3. Pay your registration fee.
    4. Upon inspection and approval, your property will be registered. 
    5. Renew rental registrations annually.  
  • We live out of state during the winter months and let our house while we are away, does it need to be registered?
    Yes, if the occupants are unrelated to the owner, Moorhead requires rental registration and inspection while you are away.
  • I own a house that my son and his college roommates live in, do I need to register it as a rental?
    Yes, Moorhead does require rental registration and inspection if the owner of the house has unrelated roommates.
  • I own a house that my daughter and her family lives in, do I need to register it as a rental?
    No, Moorhead does not require rental registration and inspection if the owner of the unit lives off-premise and occupants of unit are related to the owner.
  • Do I have to register my rental property?
    Yes, if you are accepting anything in exchange for housing, you are required to register your property. This includes a monetary payment, paying for groceries, utilities, groceries, providing services, or property maintenance. Registration and inspection must be completed before a tenant moves into your property. If you are still not sure, please contact the Community Services Department at 218.299.5434.